For any car maker with longevity, there should be something iconic about them. An intrinsic essence to what makes them unique and long lasting. It doesn’t always refer to luxury either; the Ford F150 or Jeep Wrangler are quintessential rugged off road vehicles while the Volkswagen Beetle became an icon for the “free-spirited” people of the ’60s & ’70s.
In the luxury market there are many iconic brands that have created a distinct identity for themselves. Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Jaguar, Porsche, Aston Martin have long histories and a long legacy of what defines their brand. Italy has their fair share of iconic automobiles; high powered sports cars from Ferrari and Lamborghini while FIAT is more the peoples’ car. The FIAT 500 is the Italian equivalent of the VW Bug. Alfa Romeo have a more diverse list of classic vehicles with a foot in both definitions. And so we come to the Trident and what Maserati means?
What does Maserati mean to the average person on the street? The car with a stylish body shape and distinctive engine note all rounded off with a metallic trident sitting on the front grille. If based off price, it is overblown to what it delivers. Many automobiles are cheaper in price and offer more standard items. If based on performance, then there are several which are much faster and have stronger torque. If based on luxury, again there is a long list of cars which can offer more in terms of fit out and infotainment equipment.
So, what makes this elusive motor company so special and sought after? To try and understand this, let’s take a quick look at the history of Maserati and highlight some of the classic models they have created over the years,
Jump ahead to..
Maserati Means a Band of Brothers
Five sons of a railroad worker all had a dream to follow on in their father’s passion for engineering. Alfieri, Bindo, Carlo, Ettore & Ernesto would found a new auto parts company, in 1914, and simply named the company after their family. They began building racing cars for Diatto, a company that was founded in 1835, until they suspended their operations in 1926.
So the brothers just put their own name on their existing racing cars and carried on. But their new cars would need a badge and another of their brothers had already created one. A logo that would become one of the most iconic in motoring history by initiating Maserati meaning they began to produce their first cars that would be forged in history for a century to come.
Maserati Means Sea Power
Mario Maserati, was not directly involved with the auto company but they asked him to create a logo for them. He looked no further than the middle of their home city, Bologna, using a symbol that worked on several levels. The Maserati logo meaning of the trident reflects both their heritage and their strength.
A large trident adorns the statue of King Neptune on the large fountain in Bologna Piazza Maggiore. So, the logo represents where the motor car company comes from as well as portraying the automobile with the strength and power that King Neptune has over his surroundings.
Maserati Means Racing
For the first 30 years, Maserati would concentrate mainly on the racetrack. Alfieri would hold a double duty as he was not only an engineer but also their inhouse racing driver. He would win his first race in their inaugural year, in 1926, with their Tipo 26, at Targa Florio. Alfieri would sit behind the wheel until his untimely death, in 1932.
But their racing passion continued and would be a major player in the world of racing. A succession of racing cars would follow and each new model an improvement on its predecessor. Many drivers would sit behind the wheel and deliver results, back-to-back winners at the Indy 500 and a F1 World Championship won by the great, Juan-Manuel Fangio.
But building racing cars and entering races was not paying the bills or making any money. They needed to construct road cars if they wanted to sustain their existence.
Maserati Means Style
Maserati’s first mass produced automobile would become one of their most regarded, the Maserati 3500 GT. This 3.5 liter 2+2 grand tourer took the motoring world by storm due to its beautiful body styling and dynamic performance. The GT was heralded by ordinary car buyers as well as celebrities and royalty. The success of this grand tourer would shape the future of what was to come.
After striking lucky with the two-door, Maserati tried their hand at making a four-door sedan. The Quattroporte was another styling and engineering success. Following similar design traits from the GT, the Pietra Frua designed sedan was powered by a large 4.7 liter V8 that could reach speeds of 143 – 158 mph. Its balance of high performance and luxurious layout & design would become the template for how all luxury sedans were made in the future.
Maserati Means Power
By the late ’60s, Maserati produced an updated grand tourer and one which lives on in the memory – the Ghibli. The body styling revolutionized the way all sports cars and GTs were designed after this point. This beautifully stylish GT which was adored by many (Henry Ford II, President of Ford, bought the first model that entered America and drove it to work. He told his designers he would only stop parking it in the company car park when they could design something as magnificent as the Maserati Ghibli) was powered by a strong 4.9 liter V8 and propelled the GT at speeds of 174 mph.
As the decade turned over into the ’70s, Maserati would once again break the mold of automotive design when they released the Bora. This would use the engine of the former Ghibli and give the design a modern and mid-engine upgrade. This Italdesign GT would take the wedge-shape which was to become the mainstay of ’70s & ’80s sports cars and grand tourers.
It would be many years after when Maserati would return to form. With the support of both FIAT and Ferrari, they had the capacity to design and build quality automobiles again. In recent years, this has given us both the revitalized Quattroporte and the Ghibli though this successful trend began with their latest iteration on the grand tourer – the GranTurismo. Another beautifully designed automobile that was created from the pen of Pininfarina (their first Maserati design in over 50 years). A Ferrari designed 4.7 liter V8 engine would give the GT speeds between 176 to 188 mph.
Maserati Means Cachet
Although all these cars were fast and fitted with luxury interiors, they were not some of the best in their league. But hitting the top spot in all of those indicators was not what Maserati means. It is to make sure the driving experience is a joyous one. Where the thrill of the handling and the engine’s thrust balanced to a comfortable and stylish finish, will leave a permanent smile on the driver’s face. Their goal is to celebrate their history on the race track though not to the detriment of losing a luxurious feel inside the cabin.
When you line up their most iconic creations, you begin to see a clear pattern that had begun almost 65 years ago. Maserati have created a defining tone to what the Trident delivers. After over a century of engineering, Maserati means a longevity of passion and panache.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Does Maserati Mean
The Maserati meaning has been etched into history since their humble beginnings in December of 1914. Maserati means and represents so many things for the motoring world and specifically for the Italian automotive culture. Maserati means true passion in raw and uncompromising motoring.
Since their inception into the world Maserati has always been about enriching the lives of the Maserati family throughout the world with some of the most stylish, powerful and intoxicating cars ever produced. Their their roots from Bologna all the way to the race track, Maserati’s make a statement. They’ve create a brand that resonates very clearly with one of their motto’s, rarely seen, always heard. As the sonorous engine note from a Maserati distinctly resonates with the brand itself.
Maserati has not always been the fastest, but they surely leave a lasting impression on anyone that comes across one of their cars. Italian passion that can be felt from either inside the cabin or from the side of the road.
Maserati Logo Meaning
The Maserati logo meaning is quite a simple one to explain. The Maserati Trident that adorns the logo and many elements of a Maserati such as the grille, is a symbol of the companies humble beginnings in the town of Bologna in Italy.
The Maserati trident originates from the statue that is in the town centre of Bologna. This is a statue of the God Neptune, God of fresh water. The trident is exactly the same shape as the one held by Neptune and is a classic and classy way in which the Maserati brother, Mario Maserati designed the logo, representing elements of the town that nurtured the company in their early years.
As for the colors that are utilized in the logo, the red represents the red livery that Maserati race cars had at the beginning of the century, which was also the color that represented Italy as a country.
After a significant period of time away from motorsport, upon Maserati’s return they wanted to differentiate themselves once again from other Italian manufacturers and began to race their cars in a blue livery. This also separated them from the iconic red Ferrari race cars. Blue is also a color that represents Modena as that’s where they’ve established their more recent headquarters after moving on from Bologna.
You may also notice that Ferrari is also from Modena, but the other color that represents this city is yellow, in which Ferrari have adopted along side their iconic Ferrari red.